If you have tried searching for the popular Anker battery packs for your smartphones or tablets, you may have become confused by the PowerCore PD, II, PowerCore+, Powercore, and Astro series of products. The PowerCore PD, PowerCore II, PowerCore+, PowerCore, and Astro battery banks are available in the stores at the same time, often look the same, have same capacity, and sometimes even have same or similar prices!
Also many shady sellers sell old Anker products on Amazon and other sites under false claims of being the “latest”.
To further complicate matters, all the five – PowerCore PD/II, Powercore+, PowerCore Lite, Powercore, and Astro – are available in the Amazon marketplace side-by-side. The “second” or “third generation” of Astro portable power banks are even wrongly shown in Amazon product listings as the more recent versions!
Even Anker itself continues to sell old and new versions of the powerbanks at the same time with EXACTLY same name and unless you know what you are looking for, you may well end up buying an older version powerbank at same price as the latest one!
Let us simplify the situation for you –
#1 Anker PowerCore USB-C PD Series are the latest Anker powerbanks released in 2019 & 2018. All PowerCore USB-C PD Series power banks support USB-C PD output and Input and get charged fastest compared to all other old PowerCore or Astro powerbanks.
#2 Anker PowerCore II Series Anker power banks were released in 2018. All PowerCore II Series powerbanks fast-charge Samsung phones including latest S10/s9/s8 as they support Quickcharge 2.0. The also get charged twice as fast as old PowerCore or Astro powerbanks.
#3 Anker PowerCore+ power banks are BETTER and NEWER than Astro Gen 1 or Gen 2 of same capacity.
#4 An Anker PowerCore (without the +) power bank is BETTER and NEWER than Astro Gen 1 or Gen 2 of same capacity.
Anker product timeline goes on like this when considering powerbanks of equivalent or nearly similar capacity.
(Oldest & outdated)
Astro 2nd gen or Astro 2
(Old and not recommended)
(Less features but good value for money)
PowerCore+ Series (2015-2016)
(Lighter than PowerCore & with Quickcharge 3.0)
PowerCore II Series (2017/2018)
(2017/2018, New QuickCharge fast charging power banks for Samsung/Androids)
PowerCore PD Series (2019/2018)
(2018/2019, Latest and lightest USB-C PD fast charging power banks)
Anker PowerCore vs Astro
When comparing Anker’s PowerCore or PowerCore+ products with Astro series of battery banks, the features and battery capacity significantly increase from Astro to PowerCore for the same approx. battery capacity. For example, while old Astro 2 Mini 3200 lipstick sized power bank had 3200 Mah Capacity, the newer PowerCore+ 3350 Mini of exactly same size and design has 3350 MaH capacity. This is possible as the newer PowerCore+ 3350 Mini has a more advanced Li-ion battery inside.
The difference and better performance also continues in other aspects. For example, Astro 2 3200 mini has a charging current capacity of 0.8 A while PowerCore+ Mini 3350 battery packs get charged faster with a 1.0 A charging current.
Moreover, as the charging circuits are upgraded with successive generations many advanced charging and security features have been introduced in the later latest PowerCore PD PowerCore, PowerCore+ and PowerCore II Series power banks that lead to long battery life, reduced overheating, better efficiency, and better protection of the powerbank circuits etc.
We recommend avoiding Astro series products altogether as newer PowerCore PD, II/PowerCore+ portable USB chargers offer lighter weight, more features and more value for money.
Do you Need USB-C PD or Quickcharge 3.0?
USB-C PD power banks is the latest technology trend in power banks as all latest iPhones (11, 11 Pro/Max, XR/Xs to 8/8+) support zero to 50% charging in 30 minutes with USB-C PD. All latest Android power banks also support USB-C PD fast-charging. Also, USB-C PD power banks will get charged in less than half the time taken by regular power banks. For iPhones or Samsung phones, you do not need Quickcharge 3.0/2.0 and USB-C PD power banks such as PowerCore Slim 10000 PD, Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PD or Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD are better option.
Here are the points to consider:
- If you own iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, XR, XS, XS Max, 8, 8+, X, or if you want to be absolutely future proof and do not mind paying extra, buy a 18 watt+ USB-C PD powerbank such as PowerCore Slim 10000 PD, Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PD or Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD are the best choice currently for fast charging latest and upcoming smartphones (both Apple iPhones 8/8+/Xand Samsung Salaxy S9/S8/Note 8 as well as other Androids.
- Future Proofing: As of now, 18-watt fast charging over USB-C PD is the latest trend for power banks. Both Google Android and Apple are supporting it in their latest phones. Therefore, buying a 18-watt PD fast charging power bank such as PowerCore Slim 10000 PD or PowerCore Essential 20000 PD that will serve you perfectly well in the future for all iPhone and Android smartphone fast charging needs.
- If you plan to use your Powerbank for charging Samsung Galaxy S10 S9, S8, S7, S6, Note 8, Note 5, Note 4, J series, A series phones or any iPhones then you DO NOT require QuickCharge power banks. All latest Samsung phones support USB-C PD charging. iPhones do not support Quickcharge at all.
- If you already own a LG/Xiaomi phone that supports Quickcharge 3.0 or plan to own such as phone, then a powerbank with Quickcharge 3.0 Output is a good investment as it will charge your phone to 80% in 30 minutes when you are in a hurry. Here is a comprehensive list of all smartphones with QuickCharge 3.0 support.
PowerCore PD, PowerCore II & PowerCore+ offer the most advanced features
PowerCore offers best value for money deal
In the end, when it comes to Anker Powercore vs Astro, the easy conclusion is to buy the latest PowerCore PD series power banks for best performance compared to any Astro series power banks of equivalent capacity. For example, say if you are looking for a powerbank around 10,000 mah, then PowerCore Slim 10000 PD is newer and better than the older Powercore+ 10050 with QC 2.0, older PowerCore 10000, or the even older Astro E3 10000. This is because PowerCore Slim 10000 PD supports fast charging for latest iPhones including 11/11 Pro and the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphones such as S10, S9, S8, S7 etc and also gets charged in 4-5 hours using iPhone 11 Pro/Max chargers or Samsung/LG/Moto/Pixel chargers.
Unfortunately for customers, probably due to the continued popularity and familiarity of the Astro brand, Anker has not discontinued the Astro series powerbanks. At the same time, it has introduced multiple generations of Powercore+ series battery packs at quite similar size, price and designs as the Astro series, creating a confusing mix of the three brands.
Here is a comprehensive list of Anker External Battery Packs according to their battery capacity. We have also included the Amazon shopping links of the only authorized Anker products seller on Amazon – AnkerDirect.
Also do not forget to read our guide on the important things to know before buying an Anker powerbank.
|Astro 2 |
|PowerCore+ 3350 Mini|
models such as
|Astro E2|| |
Astro Gen2 6700
| PowerCore II 6700|
|PowerCore 10000 PD|
Fast charges iPhone 11/11 pro XR/XS/8/8+ & Samsung S/Notes, USB-C Gets charged in 6 hours
(Will Fast Charge Samsung S10, S9, S8, S7 etc. and iPhone 7, 6S, 6)
(Avoid this, better to buy Anker 13000 at same price)
|Astro E4 |
|Astro E5 16000 (Old)||PowerCore 15600|
|Powercore 20000 PD|
(New Release)Fast charges iPhone 11/11 pro XR/XS/8/8+ & Samsung S/Notes, USB-C Gets charged in 6 hours
Powercore II 20000
Fast charging for Samsung S10 S9, S8, S7, Note 9/8, No USB-C
Gets charged in 6 hoursPowerCore 20000
|Astro E7 26800||PowerCore 26800 45-watt USB-C PD + 60-watt PD charger |
(Latest & New Release)Fast charges Macbooks/laptops at 45-watt, iPads, iPhone 11/11 pro XR/XS/8/8+ & Samsung S/Notes, USB-C Gets charged in 3.5 hoursPowerCore 26800
Fast charges all Samsung S/Notes, No USB-C Gets charged in 6 hours
|120,000 mAH||Anker PowerHouse|
As you can see here at the official Astro power bank page both the Powercore and Astro series of Anker Powerbanks exist side by side at the same time.